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Kiley Klug spins the wheel
Local teacher and coach fulfills dream as contestant on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
Kiley Klug
Kiley Klug (far right) is shown with friends in California at Sony Studios on Feb. 22 for her taping of “Wheel of Fortune.” - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Imagine getting to cross one of your lifelong dreams off on your bucket list.

That’s exactly what Kiley Klug got to do when she got the opportunity on one of America’s most well-known game shows, “Wheel of Fortune.”

Klug, an Odin resident, is married to Gavin Klug and together they have three boys: Owen (16), Dexter (13), and Blake (10). Klug is an English teacher at Hoisington Middle School and coaches middle school basketball and high school softball. Her dedication to both academics and athletics highlights her commitment to shaping well-rounded students.

In addition to her coach and teacher duties, she has also taken on the role of entrepreneur. One of Klug’s classes started their own bracelet making business.

The business started as a way to teach entrepreneurship, marketing, and teamwork skills to her students. While this has been a learning curve, the class has raised a couple hundred dollars by selling the bracelets at $5 each. The class is currently deciding how to spend their earnings.

“Everyone has been so supportive of me and my family over the years, so I’m excited to share this experience...”
Kiley Klug

Preparing for ‘Wheel’

Klug began her “Wheel of Fortune” process in her 20s and she describes the application as a basic form you fill out online.

“They didn’t get to really see who I was; they didn’t ask for a picture or a video. It was just on paper,” Klug said. After COVID, “Wheel of Fortune” started accepting video applications in 2021. She took a leap of faith, filmed herself, and submitted it. A year and a half after submitting the video Klug was in her classroom living what she thought was a regular day, until she received an email from Sony Studios in October of 2023. The email contained a sign-up sheet for a Zoom meet and greet.

“I sign up and I start telling everyone! Mr. Brungardt (Klug’s principal) was the first person I talked to because I needed someone to cover my class so I can do this,” Klug said.

Beyond excited about her accomplishment of getting a meet-and-greet, Klug began telling everyone. The community was very happy and proud of their friend.

“They had told me I’d get a Zoom link the night before my meeting ... and I never got the Zoom link,” Klug said. This was a devastating moment for her. As time goes by, Klug is once again checking her email and sees she’s received another email from Sony Studios with another Zoom meet and greet sign-up. This time Klug decided to keep this meeting a secret.

The meeting was just a “tell me about yourself meeting” and Klug got to meet with a producer, Richard. Richard had told Klug to bring her smile, energy, and enthusiasm.

“If I don’t have anything, I have smile, energy, and enthusiasm,” Klug said. “I researched all the questions that they ask on these initial meetings and I prepped for those questions. However, the final question threw me for a loop. Richard asked ‘what is one thing I can’t tell about you just by looking at you?’ My response was, ‘Well Richard, I’ve never been to California.’” Klug really felt like she nailed it with her final answer.

Klug was invited back for a second audition that involved toss-ups and multiple puzzles. Her confidence was dwindling, “I was not pleased with my performance,” Klug said.

She checked her email constantly. She even prematurely bought an outfit.

Four weeks after her second audition, Klug had began to lose hope and thought that she wasn’t going to live out her dream of being on “Wheel of Fortune,” until she checked her email one last time before bed.

“I instantly got an air date two weeks from the email!” Klug exclaimed.

This started the paperwork, flights, and hotel booking process for the Klug family. Her past life as a social media influencer helped make the dream of her family being in the audience become a reality. The Dravet Syndrome Foundation reached out and asked Klug to give a presentation to a new wave of influencers. The Foundation compensated Klug for her time and it was almost the exact amount necessary for her family to fly out.

“I couldn’t believe it... that was just a total God thing in my opinion,” Klug said.

“The (“Wheel of Fortune”) set was very positive and everyone was friendly,” Klug said. She was not allowed to interact with her family in the audience or in passing; she had to remain as neutral as possible. There was also the possibility that Klug was an alternate on the show. Her family had been worried that she’d worked so hard for it not happen, but then she walked up to her podium.

To celebrate this life-time goal, Klug will host a watch party for her friends and family. “Everyone has been so supportive of me and my family over the years, so I’m excited to share this experience with people from Hoisington, Odin and the surrounding areas.”

Her episode will air on April 5. Watch and cheer on Klug as she competes to win cash and prizes in the iconic game show: “Wheel of Fortune.”

The Great Bend Tribune welcomes readers to submit names of individuals they would like to see featured in a future story. Send suggestions to news@gbtribune. com and explain their “community connection.”